Cleanup of legacy waste and transition of US Department of Energy site communities to sustainable economic vitality have been melded inappropriately in one program. The results have been cleanup that costs far more and takes far longer than is necessary, and transition assistance that is ineffectual in meeting host communities' goals. Attempts at reform have largely failed because administrative and operational fixes clash with deep political and economic incentives. The status quo is unsustainable in the long run because of budgetary pressures and restiveness on the part of the public. Only systemic change, made possible by a Grand Agreement that separates the tasks, can bring realistic and lasting improvement. “Toward a Productive Divorce” analyzes the dynamics that have led to failure and outlines first steps for actions that will satisfy conflicting goals effectively and efficiently.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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